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Thanks Mom for Teaching Us to Make Good Choices

Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND

Growing up, my Mom was the guiding force in the family when it came to our food and beverage choices at meals and snacks. From her, I learned about the importance of family meals, conversation, choices, how much to eat, and when to say you’ve had plenty. She also sparked my interest and love for food and nutrition that I have today. Notice there’s no mention of the government’s role in either my food and beverage selections or a tax on certain food or beverages to try and affect those selections. I believe in consumer freedom and support the right to choose what you consume. Your choices are nobody’s business.

Solid evidence continues to show that soda taxes raise revenue but are unlikely to affect soda consumption substantially. The USDA and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data both show a decline in the amount of added sugar consumed since 1999 while obesity and diabetes rates have continued to rise. This evidence begs the question, what is the real motivation for politicians to push for soda taxes?

Instead of taxes, empowerment with education is the smart choice. As the saying goes, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". Starting young and teaching our children how to make healthy choices including portion sizes, being reasonable when it comes to treat-type foods and staying active is key to a healthier weight and life. Whether it’s playing a sport, planting a garden, or learning to cook quick, healthful meals, the do-as-I-do approach wins every time over the do-as-I-say one.


Award winning registered dietitian nutritionist, Dr. Susan Mitchell is host of the podcast Breaking Down Nutrition: Your Digest for What Works, What Doesn’t. She also shares her passion for nutrition at where you’ll find the food you love, how to be fit for life and fabulous everyday. 

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